CNN confirms Anthony Bourdain's suicide at age 61

By Karen Butler  |  Updated June 8, 2018 at 11:28 AM
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June 8 (UPI) -- Celebrity chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain has died by suicide in France at the age of 61, his employer CNN announced Friday.

He had been working abroad on an episode for Season 11 of his travel and food series Parts Unknown when a friend found him unresponsive in his hotel room.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the network said in a statement Friday morning. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

In one of his final social media posts, Bourdain tweeted a short video Sunday, showing him having a laugh with his girlfriend Asia Argento and members of the Parts Unknown crew while they were filming recently in Hong Kong.

"Television production is a tough business. Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance . On location with director @AsiaArgento and DP @dukefeng52 Chris Doyle in Hong Kong TONIGHT @PartsUnknownCNN," Bourdain wrote.

Bourdain first gained global fame after penning the 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. His other television shows include A Cook's Tour and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He has an 11-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Ottavia Busia.

In the past year, Bourdain has been a vocal advocate for women involved in the Me Too and Time's Up movements spotlighting sexual abuse and harassment.

Last fall, he cooked a special meal for Argento, Annabella Sciorra and Rose McGowan -- women who accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of abuse.

"Anthony I am so mad at you. You were so loved, the world is not better without you. I have a message for those considering suicide as a solution to a temporary problem. Please call a hotline. Please reach out. Asia needed you, Anthony. We needed you. Please come back," McGowan tweeted Friday.

The message included a video of McGowan sobbing and urging anyone who feels suicidal to seek help.

Suicide rates have risen 30 percent in the United States in less than two decades, data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate.

In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide, making it the 10th leading cause of death, the federal agency said.

The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

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